Chapter 2 Transportation Policy Plan Strategies

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "Chapter 2 Transportation Policy Plan Strategies"


1 Chapter 2 Transportation Policy Plan Strategies As discussed in Chapter 1, the current federal transportation law, Fixing America s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), mandates a streamlined and performance-based process for transportation planning, This Transportation Policy Plan responds to this mandate by identifying regional transportation system goals and objectives that address and also go beyond federal requirements to align with the region s metropolitan development guide, Thrive MSP Regional transportation goals and objectives are summarized in Chapter 1, Transportation System Vision and Performance- Based Planning. Chapter 1 defines strategies as actions that can or will be taken to help the region accomplish and meet the identified transportation system goals and objectives. Strategies describe the role of regional programs, policies, and priorities in determining a list of projects and services for investment. Strategies can also address guiding principles for how implementing partners will act to progress toward goals and objectives. This chapter identifies and elaborates on strategies that the region will use to make progress toward achieving the transportation goals and objectives. The strategies identify specific actions, along with responsible actors, that will be taken to help achieve the region s transportation goals. Chapter 13, Performance Outcomes, identifies specific performance measures and how well the region is working towards the regional transportation goals and objectives since the last plan. A large number of the strategies have existed in in previous versions of the Transportation Policy Plan, many as far back as the original plan in the 1970s, and often called policies rather than strategies. As a result, the Metropolitan Council and its regional transportation partners have been advancing the work described in the strategies for years. The strategies are organized and discussed under a specific transportation goal, but in many instances, a strategy works toward achieving multiple or even all of the transportation goals. In these instances, the strategy is listed under the goal that seems to best fit with the main emphasis of the strategy. The strategies used to achieve the broad goals in the plan may at times need to balance potential outcomes against one another to maximize benefits to the region while minimizing any negative impacts. The term regional transportation partners is frequently used in the strategies to broadly include all public entities within the region with responsibility for planning, implementing or maintaining the transportation system including the Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), counties, cities, townships, transit providers, airport sponsors and others TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 DRAFT Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.1

2 Supportive local actions indicate how local governments, primarily cities, might have a role in supporting the strategy at the local level. Generally, the supportive local actions are meant to be advisory indicating best practices or implementation methods that might be used to support the strategy at the local level. The actions in these strategies reflect statutory requirements, positive actions, and best practices that advance the transportation system goals and objectives of the Transportation Policy Plan and help meet the federal requirements for a regional performance-based plan. Some of the strategies state that actors will do something, and others suggest that actors should do something. Will statements are positive actions that support the work of the Metropolitan Council and its partners in developing and implementing an effective regional transportation system. Should statements are recommendations directed primarily to local governments regarding their own investment and land use decisions. These strategies are provided as best practices or suggestions to guide local planning priorities and considerations. Only one strategy (F1) is a must statement, reflecting the statutory authority of the Metropolitan Council to review the transportation elements of local comprehensive plans. A. Transportation System Stewardship Goal: Sustainable investments in the transportation system are protected by strategically preserving, maintaining, and operating system assets. Objectives: A. Efficiently preserve and maintain the regional transportation system in a state of good repair. B. Operate the regional transportation system to efficiently and cost-effectively move people and freight. Strategies: A1. Regional transportation partners will place the highest priority for transportation investments on strategically preserving, maintaining, and operating the transportation system. The regional transportation system represents an enormous public investment that is essential to our economy and quality of life. Protecting this investment means maintaining the entire system in a state of good repair. Doing so ensures that infrastructure and all facilities and equipment function well for their entire design life and minimize costs over their life cycle. Federal transportation legislation is increasingly emphasizes the importance of maintaining the existing transportation system. The USDOT requires performance measures for states to assess the condition of pavements and bridges on the Interstate Highways and National 2040 TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.2

3 Highway System. USDOT also requires performance measures and asset management plans for transit assets. Collecting data is important to the efficient preservation, maintenance and operation of all modes and allows for making strategic and timely investments. Preserving and maintaining the roadway system applies to bridges and roadway pavement, on-street bicycle facilities, sidewalks and adjacent trails within roadway rights-of-way, as well as all roadside infrastructure such as lighting, traffic signals, noise walls, and drainage systems. Preserving and maintaining the transit system includes maintaining and replacing vehicles and equipment at consistent intervals, preserving the function and positive customer experience at customer facilities, and maintaining efficient support facilities and rail infrastructure. Cooperate with MnDOT, regional transit providers, and regional parks implementing agencies in maintaining and operating shared and multimodal transportation facilities, including setting priorities for snow, ice and debris removal. A2. Regional transportation partners should regularly review planned maintenance preservation and reconstruction projects to identify cost-effective opportunities to incorporate improvements for safety, lower-cost congestion management and mitigation, MnPASS, strategic capacity, transit, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities. MnDOT should continue to regularly review highway preservation, maintenance, and reconstruction projects to identify opportunities to modernize the roadway and integrate safety and lower-cost congestion Chapter 5, The Highway Investment management improvements. and to determine if MnPASS lane Direction and Plan, and regionally prioritized strategic capacity projects includes a map of implementation can be advanced with such coordination. A planned pavement, similar approach should be used by cities and counties as they bridge, and roadside undertake local highway projects. infrastructure projects Regional transit providers should review preservation and maintenance projects to identify opportunities to modernize and improve the transit system and its integration with other systems. In addition, technology and design improvements in transit systems can be incorporated into maintenance, preservation, or replacement projects to provide a better customer experience or more efficient system. Airport sponsors and air-service providers should establish airport business plans and agreements to deliver high-quality services at affordable prices to users. Airport sponsors should operate within a long-term financial plan that stresses maximizing non-regional funding sources to avoid or minimize financial impacts on regional taxpayers and maintaining a high bond rating for aviation improvements TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.3

4 Plan and implement bicycle and pedestrian improvements and consider traffic calming techniques as part of roadway projects. Where these travel options are needed and can be safely provided, this approach can take advantage of cost-effective opportunities to provide for improved pedestrian crossings and walkways, on-street bicycle facilities, signage and other improvements. Coordinate preservation and maintenance projects with MnDOT, regional transit providers and other affected local governments when locally planned projects affect their systems. A3. The Metropolitan Council and regional transit providers will use regional transit design guidelines and performance standards, as appropriate based on Transit Market Areas, to manage the transit network, to respond to demand, and balance performance and geographic coverage. The Metropolitan Council and regional transit providers will look for opportunities to manage services and reinvest resources from underperforming services to services that can support regional transit performance standards. When managing the transit system, the Metropolitan Council and regional transit providers will consider input from local communities, existing and potential riders, and the business community. They will also consider the impacts and benefits to low-income groups and people of color. As the transit system continues to expand, new and improved routes and services will also be evaluated against regional transit performance standards. Chapter 6, Transit Investment Direction and Plan includes a description of Transit Market Areas. Transit design guidelines and performance standards are included in Appendix G. Work with transit providers to identify route changes that will better suit community needs. A4. Airport sponsors will prepare a long-term comprehensive plan (LTCP) for each airport every five years and submit it to the Metropolitan Council for review to ensure that plans for preservation, management and improvement of infrastructure at each airport are consistent with the regional aviation system plan. Airport-related investments by public and private sectors in the region should focus on continued development of Minneapolis- Saint Paul International Airport as a major national and international hub. Investments should maximize the operational effectiveness and value of aviation services and airport infrastructure. For regional airports, airport sponsors should maintain and enhance existing facilities to their maximum capability before investing in new facilities. The scope, application and content of a longterm comprehensive plan is defined for different airport sponsors in Appendix K TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.4

5 Regional aviation facilities are under various types of public and private ownership. If a substantial change to the approved plan is deemed necessary and cannot be addressed as part of the regular update, the long-term comprehensive plan should be amended. B. Safety and Security Goal: The regional transportation system is safe and secure for all users. Objectives: A. Reduce fatal and serious injury crashes and improve safety and security for all modes of passenger travel and freight transport. B. Reduce the transportation system s vulnerability to natural and man-made incidents and threats. Strategies: B1. Regional transportation partners will incorporate safety and security considerations for all modes and users throughout the processes of planning, funding, construction, and operation. Crashes resulting in fatal and serious injury are the major safety concern on all highways and streets. The state and counties have done much work on this The Highway Safety issue in recent years, producing the Minnesota Strategic Highway Improvement Program Safety Plan (MSHSP) and county highway safety plans. MnDOT s funds proactive and Congestion Management and Safety Plan uses both safety and reactive safety projects by MnDOT, counties mobility measures to develop low-cost high-benefit, targeted and cities in the region. projects. Some cities have also developed safety plans. These resources should be considered in developing roadway improvements. The major transit safety concerns include addressing crashes involving transit vehicles, especially light rail and commuter rail trains. Providing safe crossing of rail transit facilities is important in designing rail systems. Regional transit providers will emphasize improvements to areas with high vehicle crash rates. Additional details on transit security are discussed in Strategy B5. As the most vulnerable users of the transportation system, pedestrians and bicyclists should be included in roadway and transit planning and project development. Additional information on improving safety for pedestrians and bicyclists is included in Strategy B6. Safety is the number one priority in planning and developing aviation facilities and services. While the Federal Aviation Administration is responsible for safety of the airspace, all levels 2040 TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.5

6 of government should work together to ensure that only appropriate land uses are allowed in runway approach areas. Address safety and security considerations in planning and implementing the local transportation system. Adopt local ordinances controlling all tall structures 250 feet or more to minimize potential general airspace hazards. B2. Regional transportation partners should work with local, state, and federal public safety officials, including emergency responders, to protect and strengthen the role of the regional transportation system in providing security and effective emergency response to serious incidents and threats. Regional transportation partners should consider security needs as contained in federal directives when planning, constructing and operating facilities for all modes of transportation. The region s highways are crucial when responding to emergencies involving fire, ambulance, disaster, and evacuation. Principal and minor arterials provide valuable alternate routes as essential redundancy for responding to emergencies. Regional transit providers can also play an important role in emergency response, such as moving people away from a dangerous situation or area and providing safe shelter in transit vehicles or major customer facilities. Participate in multi-agency efforts to plan and prepare for transportation emergency response. B3. Regional transportation partners should monitor and routinely analyze safety and security data by mode, severity, and location to identify priorities and progress. The State of Minnesota MnDOT, Department of Public Safety, and Department of Health regional transit providers, counties, and cities are doing important work in identifying, prioritizing, and addressing traffic and transit safety issues. The Metropolitan Council will continue to support these traffic and transit safety efforts, including direction provided in the Minnesota Strategic Highway Safety Plan, county highway safety plans, county transportation plans, local comprehensive plans, and regional transit provider operations. Transit providers will monitor the state of good repair for facilities and other investments to ensure safety for passengers, operators, and other staff. I-94, I-694 and Minnesota Highways 280 and 100 provided critical highway and bus transit capacity during the 2007 I-35W bridge collapse and reconstruction. (photo) 2040 TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.6

7 Maintain, monitor, and routinely analyze local safety and security data to identify priorities for investment and coordinate this data with regional efforts. B4. Regional transportation partners will support the state s vision of moving toward zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries, which includes supporting educational and enforcement programs to increase awareness of regional safety issues, shared responsibility, and safe behavior. While engineering and emergency response are important for highway safety, other important areas include education, enforcement and legislation. Efforts in these areas are typically led by agencies whose jurisdiction extends beyond transportation, but transportation entities can be important partners in these efforts. Collaborative The Regional Solicitation awards significant points for crash reduction for highway, bike and pedestrian improvements. interdisciplinary efforts to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries currently include the state s Toward Zero Deaths program, which also includes coalitions at the county level, and local Vision Zero programs at the city level. The Department of Public Safety leads state education efforts focused on giving drivers information they need to avoid hazardous driving practices and choose responsible behavior. Enforcement efforts focus on ensuring compliance with traffic laws to change driver behavior and reduce unsafe driving practices. In recent years, key highway safety education, enforcement, and legislative efforts have focused on aggressive driving, distracted driving, speeding, impaired driving, reducing the number of people traveling without seatbelts or appropriate car seats, and motorcycle driver training. In addition to general traffic safety, local and state agencies are encouraged to coordinate with state safety efforts to educate the public in the proper use of sidewalks and crosswalks by pedestrians and proper use of shared lanes, bicycle lanes and trails by bicyclists. These safety programs include the Safe Routes to School programs that promote bicycling and walking safety for school students. Programs should educate motorists regarding bicycle and pedestrian roadway and trail crossing laws (including intersection and mid-block crossings), how to safely interact with bicyclists riding legally in the roadway, and to be aware of pedestrians and bicyclists. Identify and implement local programs and strategies to support the state s vision of moving toward zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries. B5. The Metropolitan Council and regional transit providers will provide transit police services and coordinate with public safety agencies to provide a collaborative approach to safety and security TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.7

8 The transit system employs and carries large numbers of people and can be both an important system in responding to threats, and a target for serious threats. An important emphasis for the transit system is responding to safety and security concerns in a timely manner. The transit system covers a large geographic area, and many jurisdictions and incidents often occur on moving vehicles. This requires significant coordination between transit providers and public safety agencies. Most of the transit system is supported by Metro Transit Police, which is dedicated to providing police services to transit safety and security. In addition to Metro Transit Police, all regional transit providers coordinate with local public safety agencies, ensuring a safe and secure environment in and around the transit system. The transit system also has security systems to monitor possible threats to people on and around transit vehicles and facilities. This system will continue to play an important role in improving the real and the perceived safety and security for transit employees and customers. Coordinate local public safety agencies with regional transit providers to respond to incidents on the regional transit system. Use local public events as an opportunity to educate residents about potential security threats and natural disaster response procedures. B6. Regional transportation partners will use best practices to provide and improve facilities for safe walking and bicycling, since pedestrians and bicyclists are the most vulnerable users of the transportation system. Many best practice guidelines for planning and design are available for improving bicycling and walking safety and general experience. Some of the more pertinent guides include: Minnesota s Best Practices for Pedestrian/Bicycle Safety (MnDOT, 2013) Best Practices Synthesis and Guidance in At-Grade Trail-Crossing Treatments (MnDOT, 2013) Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, 4th ed. (American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, 2012) Urban Street Design Guide (National Association of City Transportation Officials, 2013) Intersections and pedestrian crossings (including intersection crossings, mid-block crossings, and trail crossings) pose key issues for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Safe rail crossings are particularly important for transit customers at light rail and commuter rail stops, since these are some of the busiest crossing points in the region. Transit providers and local governments should work together to design and provide effective and safe crossings in order to discourage bike and pedestrian crossings at unsafe locations TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.8

9 Coordinate with Metro Transit and other rail providers to improve safe crossings of rail facilities. Incorporate bicycle and pedestrian facilities in local plans. Use best practices to enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety. B7. Airport sponsors and air service providers will provide facilities that are safe, secure and technologically current. The regional aviation system is essential to the regional economy and should be developed, operated, and maintained to appropriate standards, to include making necessary improvements to the air traffic control system. Airport sponsors should provide facilities that are safe and secure, affordable, and technologically current for all facets of the aviation industry. B8. The Council and its regional transportation partners will ensure that police and public safety agency enforcement programs and actions on the region s transportation system do not create or perpetuate racial inequities. It is important to note that not everyone has the same experience using the region s transportation system. Analyses of enforcement data show that people of color experience disproportionate traffic stops or enforcement on transit. The 2003 Minnesota Statewide Racial Profiling Study, done by the University of Minnesota Law School at the request of the state legislature, found that drivers of color are over-represented among those stopped; over-represented among those searched; and under-represented among those found to have contraband on their person or in their vehicle as a result of being searched. Because Minnesota does not require local police departments to collect traffic stop data including race, there is currently no consistent database to use for routine analysis on potential racial disparities across jurisdictions, although individual cities may track their traffic stop data. The 2003 report is the most recent analysis available at a statewide or regional level. A 2011 U.S. Department of Justice national report on traffic and street stops found that more black drivers were stopped. In 2015, Metro Transit analyzed its police incident data by race and found disparities in its treatment of people of color. Recent Metro Transit data indicates these disparities have been reduced after changes to training and procedures. Over the past several years, work has been done to address community concerns about policing, including national and statewide task forces that identified best practices and recommendations for policing practices and building public trust, and work to implement changes continues at the local level. Collect demographic data, including but not limited to race, for all stops in accordance with industry best practices TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.9

10 Implement required state training for peace officers on crisis intervention and mental illness crises; conflict management and mediation; and recognizing and valuing community diversity and cultural differences to include implicit bias training, and other relevant training as recommended by industry best practices. C. Access to Destinations Goal: A reliable, affordable, and efficient multimodal transportation system supports the prosperity of people and businesses by connecting them to destinations throughout the region and beyond. Objectives: A. Increase the availability of multimodal travel options, especially in congested highway corridors. B. Increase travel time reliability and predictability for travel on highway and transit systems. C. Ensure access to freight terminals such as river ports, airports, and intermodal rail yards. D. Increase the number and share of trips taken using transit, carpools, bicycling, and walking. E. Improve the availability of and quality of multimodal travel options for people of all ages and abilities to connect to jobs and other opportunities, particularly for historically underrepresented populations. C1. Regional transportation partners will continue to work together to plan and implement transportation systems that are multimodal and provide connections between modes. The Metropolitan Council will prioritize regional projects that are multimodal and costeffective and encourage investments to include appropriate provisions for bicycle and pedestrian travel. Planning and design of highway and street corridors must continue to incorporate and improve the safety and mobility needs of all users, including trucks, buses, trains, pedestrians and people riding bicycles. The region and state have been pioneers in highway system management to increase multimodal efficiency. These efforts must be continued and expanded in the future. MnDOT, counties, and cities should provide advantages for transit on highways and streets, including bus-only shoulders, transit stations, curb extensions, transit signal priority, and ramp meter bypasses. MnDOT, counties, cities, and transit providers should provide facilities for people to safely walk or bike across highways, streets, and other major barriers in urban, suburban, and rural areas, especially on bridges TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.10

11 MnDOT, counties, cities, and transit providers should also provide for people of all ages and levels of mobility to safely walk or bike on most highways and streets in the region (see Strategy C2 below). The needs of bicyclists and pedestrians must be addressed when roadway bridges are built or rebuilt. A strong bicycle and pedestrian system is essential to provide valuable connections to the regional transit system and improve mobility for people with disabilities. Since the experience of transit customers generally starts with walking, improvements to the pedestrian environment are essential to transit. This includes providing facilities but also considering the other elements of design and urban form that contribute to a good pedestrian experience. The Metropolitan Council works with regional transportation partners to identify priority projects for use of federal transportation funds through the Regional Solicitation process. All Regional Solicitation funding categories include scoring criteria that assess multimodal elements, and a strong focus is placed on bicycle and pedestrian elements. In local comprehensive plans, coordinate the local transportation element for streets, pedestrian and bicycle facilities with county, regional, state agencies and adjacent communities. Continue to implement universal accessibility in all new construction and rehabilitation of transportation infrastructure including sidewalks and other pedestrian infrastructure to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. C2. Local units of government should provide a network of interconnected roadways, bicycle facilities, and pedestrian facilities to meet local travel needs using Complete Streets principles. The functional classification system in Appendix D identifies roads by the function they serve. The needs of transit, pedestrians, bicyclists, trucks and autos should be addressed in the 2040 TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.11

12 An interconnected, multimodal local transportation system provides access to land uses, expands travel options, and helps reduce highway congestion. Local and county governments should plan a system of multimodal interconnected collector roads and minor arterials to serve short and medium-length trips. A local transportation system should serve the full range of types of trips. Minor arterials serve more and longer trips, sometimes at faster speeds, to help reduce demand on the metropolitan highway system also called Principal arterials and ensure that traffic does not spill over to local streets. Local streets provide a basic level of access to land, including homes and businesses. Complete Streets is a term used to describe an approach to transportation planning, design, and construction that considers the needs of all potential users pedestrians, transit vehicles and users, bicyclists, commercial freight trucks, emergency vehicles and motorists moving along and across roads and through intersections. For pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users this should include users of all ages and abilities. The concept of complete streets typically includes these principles: Developing transportation projects through planning and design using a contextsensitive approach that varies by location and is customized to the specific corridor s characteristics. Improving the safety and functionality of the transportation system for all users so people can move safely from point A to point B via their selected travel mode or modes. Consideration through planning and design of the overall, multimodal transportation network and connections that go beyond the specific project corridor. Planning to accommodate all users that travel within, along and across the project corridor. The implementation of Complete Streets principles ensures that the accessibility and safety of all travelers be appropriately considered and incorporated throughout any road project s planning, design, and construction. MnDOT, counties, and cities should continue to work together to provide facilities for people to bike or walk along most streets and highways in urban and in some rural areas, with the exception of freeways. A well-connected collector road network is important to support non-motorized modes parallel to major highways and within neighborhoods and activity centers. Local streets, especially where traffic calming measures have been implemented and traffic signals are provided at major planning of all local roadway networks. More specific discussion of how bicycle facilities might be provided on arterials and local roadways is provided in Chapter 7, The Bicycle and Pedestrian Investment Direction. intersections, can provide better bicycle and pedestrian comfort, air quality, and safety than highways with higher traffic volumes and speeds TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.12

13 Major transit investments like transitways and transit centers need to be highly accessible for pedestrians and bicyclists. It is important that transit facilities are designed to integrate with existing local transportation systems (including bicycle and pedestrian facilities) and local land use plans that support high-density development. Local governments should also consider the implications of emerging transportation modes, such as transportation network companies, low-powered vehicles like electric scooters, and other shared mobility options. These modes are not typically implemented directly by local governments but they are often regulated, at least in part, by local governments. It s important for local governments to consider the role of these emerging services in their network and the regional transportation system. The Council can support local governments by convening conversations or gathering best practices about these services. In local comprehensive plans, develop and adopt local transportation plan elements for streets and pedestrian and bicycle facilities that serve the community and encourage active living, provide direct connections to job concentrations, create an integrated system with adjacent communities, and implement and connect to the Regional Bicycle Transportation Network. Adopt a Complete Streets policy and identify roads that should be emphasized for different uses (for example, transit, bicyclists, pedestrians and freight). All roads should be designed to accommodate emergency vehicles. C3. The Metropolitan Council, working with MnDOT through their efforts, and other relevant jurisdictions, will continue to maintain a Congestion Management Process for the region's Principal and A-minor arterials to meet federal requirements. The Congestion Management Process will incorporate and coordinate the various activities of MnDOT, transit providers, counties, cities and transportation management organizations to increase the multimodal efficiency and people-moving capacity of the regional roadway network. The region has a well-developed and managed freeway system. In past long-range transportation plans, the emphasis was to meet forecast demand by adding highway capacity. However, no region in the country has successfully solved highway congestion. Current trends also suggest that the transportation system is experiencing new resource, policy, technology, and local and global economic conditions that differ from those of the past. This plan, including the Congestion Management Process, emphasizes that the impacts of congestion should and can be eased by increasing the people-moving capacity of the multimodal transportation system, while minimizing future demand on the highway system. Mitigating the impacts of congestion will be achieved by: Implementing supportive land use policy TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.13

14 Improving traffic management and more efficient use of existing highway system capacity, pavement, and right-of-way. Implementing a MnPASS system and limited strategic highway capacity enhancements. Implementing alternatives to driving alone. Through the Congestion Management Process, the Metropolitan Council, MnDOT and other relevant jurisdictions will work to monitor and evaluate congestion mitigation strategies and projects being implemented and modify the approach in the future as needed. This plan emphasizes that limited resources must be focused on providing the most systemwide transportation benefit. Where strategic enhancements to highway capacity are considered, MnDOT and local governments will design highway projects with the intent to manage congestion. Highway system performance will be measured by people-carrying capacity and travel time reliability instead of more traditional measures such as level of service. Chapter 12, Congestion Management Process, of the Transportation Policy Plan includes a description of this process. C4. Regional transportation partners will promote multimodal travel options and alternatives to single occupant vehicle travel and highway congestion through a variety of travel demand management initiatives, with a focus on major job, activity, and industrial and manufacturing concentrations on congested highway corridors and corridors served by regional transit service. Travel demand management (TDM) strategies emphasize reducing vehicle miles traveled and trips made driving alone. These strategies should be directed at increasing the use of travel options, easing congestion, reducing pollution, and encouraging transportationefficient land development. TDM strategies are most successful in areas with high travel demand and high potential for using travel options. Thus, the Metropolitan Council and its TDM partners will focus local and regional TDM efforts on employment centers and corridors with significant investments in travel options. Travel options include transit service, transit and ridesharing advantages like MnPASS lanes, high-occupancy vehicle lanes that bypass freeway ramp meters, bus-only shoulders, and biking and walking facilities for users of all ages and levels of mobility. The Metropolitan Council will provide TDM technical assistance and financial incentives to transportation management organizations (TMOs) other TDM partners and local units of government to implement TDM strategies and programs. The Regional Solicitation has an application category that specifically provides funding to implement innovative TDM strategies. The Metropolitan Council will also explore innovative travel demand management strategies that emerge as technology changes and travel patterns adapt. The emergence of shared mobility transportation options like bicycle share, car share, and electric scooter share are examples of innovative strategies that can support additional multimodal travel. Examples of other TDM strategies include the development of TDM plans for specific sites or new developments, telework and flexible work schedule programs, 2040 TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.14

15 avoiding the oversupply of parking and pricing strategies for parking, and employee training programs. Support, collaborate, and implement travel demand management policies, programs, and land use regulations in collaboration with other government agencies, transit providers, travel management organizations, businesses, employees, and property owners. Facilitate the fair and equitable implementation of new mobility options that require local regulation and/or sponsoring. C5. The Metropolitan Council will work with MnDOT and local governments to implement a system of MnPASS lanes and transit advantages that support fast, reliable alternatives to single-occupant vehicle travel in congested highway corridors and in local corridors. MnPASS is an integral part of a multimodal transportation system, and helps people reach job concentrations faster and more efficiently. MnPASS lanes provide a reliable, congestionfree travel option for people who ride bus transit, people who ride in carpools and solo drivers who are willing to pay a fee during peak rush-hour periods. MnPASS can improve efficiency by moving more people through highway corridors during congested periods in fewer vehicles. MnPASS lanes provide commuters and small commercial vehicles with greater travel-time reliability and choice. It encourages greater park-and-ride use and increases car and vanpooling. By addressing capacity, MnPASS lanes also improve travel conditions for all highway users. MnPASS also improves transit service and increases ridership, particularly on express bus service. The Metropolitan Council and MnDOT will continue to implement transit advantages on the freeway system that allow transit vehicles to bypass congestion and provide a faster, more reliable travel time. The primary system of transit advantages in the region includes busonly shoulders, ramp-meter bypass ramps, and MnPASS lanes. MnDOT will continue to analyze the need for new transit advantages and maintain existing transit advantages to the greatest extent possible. Transit advantages are also used to improve local transit circulation. Examples include exclusive bus lanes, traffic signal timing and signal priority, and queue jumps. The Metropolitan Council and transit providers will work with local governments to determine where these improvements may be needed and identify possible implementation solutions. The MnPASS system vision is included in Chapter 5, Highway Investment Direction and Plan. Other transit advantages are discussed in Chapter 6, Transit Investment Direction and Plan. The Regional Solicitation also provides funding opportunities for transit advantages that improve the customer experience, primarily through the transit modernization category TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.15

16 Identify opportunities for transit advantages on the local road system that improve the attractiveness of the transit system and coordinate their implementation with regional transit providers. C6. The Metropolitan Council will support an interagency approach to preserving right-of-way for future transportation projects that are consistent with the Transportation Policy Plan. Rights-of-way for future transportation infrastructure are difficult to obtain. Consequently, right-of-way should be preserved for public use as project locations become certain and property becomes available. The Metropolitan Council s Right-of-way Acquisition Loan Fund (RALF) will be used to preserve needed right-of-way for projects on Principal arterials and other state highways consistent with the Transportation Policy Plan. Railroad right-of-way that is proposed to be abandoned provides an opportunity to use these linear corridors for transit, trails, parks, or other systems that could serve a variety of roles. The appropriate agencies that could be involved in preserving rail rights-of-way may vary depending on the short- or long-term intended role. An interagency approach to determining that role will be valuable in ensuring that all possible uses are considered. Identify future transportation right-of-way needs through comprehensive planning and coordinate with other transportation providers. C7. Regional transportation partners will manage and optimize the performance of the Principal Arterial system as measured by person throughput. MnDOT will work to address capacity problems across the region s entire Principal Arterial system. MnDOT and local units of government with jurisdiction over Principal Arterials will: First, address capacity issues by working to apply management improvements such as access management, improved or expanded traffic management technologies. Second, seek spot mobility improvements identified through processes such as MnDOT's Congestion Management and Safety Plan. Third, identify and prioritize MnPASS lanes that address capacity problems and provide alternatives to congestion for transit, those willing to carpool or to pay. These strategies are further discussed in Chapter 5, Highway Investment Direction and Plan. Access management on Principal arterials is discussed in Strategy C10. MnPASS lanes serve people who carpool or ride transit, key strategies for increasing person throughput since a bus can move as many as 90 passengers on just one vehicle. Added capacity provided by MnPASS lanes can be permanent or actively managed to be open only during certain hours, conditions, or for certain vehicles. All projects for expanding Principal arterial capacity will implement the lower-cost/high-return approach to investments by maximizing use of available highway capacity, pavement, and right-of-way TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.16

17 Traffic management technologies, spot mobility improvements identified through the Congestion Management and Safety Plan, MnPASS, and strategic capacity enhancements, and regional highway access improvements to job, activity, industrial, and manufacturing centers are discussed further in the highway investment section. Access to Principal arterials is discussed in Strategy C11. C8. Regional transportation partners will prioritize all regional highway capital investments based on a project s expected contributions to achieving the outcomes, goals, and objectives identified in Thrive MSP 2040 and the Transportation Policy Plan. All regional highway projects must address the plan goals of safety and security, transportation system stewardship, and healthy environment. After meeting these requirements, the following factors will be used to prioritize highway capital projects, including MnPASS, strategic highway capacity enhancements and access improvements: Improves regional economic vitality. Improves critical regional highway system connectivity. Increases regional highway system travel time reliability. Supports regional population, household, and job forecasts and local comprehensive plans. Supports regional balance of investments. When addressing highway capacity issues, regional transportation partners should work to first apply traffic management technologies to improve traffic flow without adding physical highway capacity. The next category of investment should be to investigate implementing the lower-cost/high-return approach to investments in spot mobility improvements. If traffic management technologies and spot mobility improvements do not address the highway capacity issue identified, only then should adding larger physical capacity sometimes called expansion improvements be explored. Expansion improvements include MnPASS lanes, prioritized strategic capacity enhancements, and highway access improvements. Providing a congestion-free, reliable option for transit users, carpoolers and solo drivers willing to pay a fee to use MnPASS lanes is the region s priority for expansion improvements. If MnPASS lanes cannot address the existing capacity problems, strategic capacity enhancements that have been regionally prioritized (such as interchange improvements or conversions or addressing important freight bottlenecks) should be evaluated. Strategic capacity should be approached using the philosophy of lowercost/high-return on investment. C9. The Metropolitan Council will support investments in A-minor arterials that build, manage, or improve the system s ability to supplement the capacity of the Principal Arterial system and support access to the region s job, activity, and industrial and manufacturing concentrations TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.17

18 MnDOT, counties, and cities within the seven-county region have identified the roads in the Minor Arterial system, called A-minor arterials, that supplement and support the Principal Arterial system and provide access to regional job, activity, industrial, and manufacturing centers. The Metropolitan Council and its Transportation Advisory Board have chosen to focus some of the region s flexible federal funds distributed through the Regional Solicitation on highway improvements on A-minor and non-freeway Principal arterials. The region recognizes four types of A-minor arterials to ensure the system is flexible and responsive to different policies and situations throughout the urban and rural parts of the seven-county region. These roadways are classified into the following four categories: Reliever routes provide direct relief for traffic on Principal arterial highways. These roads typically are the closest routes parallel to the Principal arterials within the core, urban reserve and urban staging areas. These roadways are proposed to accommodate medium-length trips and high traffic volumes as well as providing relief to congested Principal arterials. Improvements focus on providing additional capacity and limiting congestion for through traffic. Expander routes provide a way to make connections between developing urban and suburban areas outside the interstate ring or beltway serving existing and new development. Connector routes are roads that provide good, safe connections among town centers in the urban reserve, urban staging and rural areas within and near the seven counties. Improvements to Connectors should focus on safety and load-bearing ability. Augmenter routes are roads that augment the Principal Arterial system within the interstate ring or beltway. The Principal arterial network in this area is in place. However, the network of Principal arterials is not sufficient relative to the density of development it needs to serve. In these situations, these key minor arterials serve many long-range trips and provide access to various activity centers within the beltway. Improvements focus on providing additional capacity. A-minor arterials should provide reliable travel times at reasonable travel speeds. They are important parts of the multimodal transportation system serving people in trucks, personal vehicles, buses, walking, and on bicycles. Within the urban service area, sidewalks or multiuse non-motorized facilities should be provided along A-minor arterials. Bicycle facilities on A-minor arterials should be designed to ensure that the road's multimodal function, safety and person-throughput are maintained or enhanced. Separated multimodal facilities are preferable if there is sufficient right-of-way available, to improve safety for all users. The functional classification system in Appendix D defines four types of A-minor arterial roads augmenters, expanders, relievers, and connectors by the function they serve. Cars, bicyclists, pedestrians, transit, and trucks need to be considered in the planning for all of these roads TRANSPORTATION POLICY PLAN METROPOLITAN COUNCIL October 2018 UPDATE Chapter 2: Strategies Page 2.18